Sunday, 10 January 2016

Batik experiments in progress

Batik "cap" carved wooden block

This weekend I have been experimenting with some batik techniques. I used to love dying fabric but haven't done any for years. My husband bought me some beeswax and a cap (carved wooden block used for printing the wax onto fabric) for christmas.  I tried using the block, however the cold british climate has meant the even inside the wax was cooling too quickly to apply evenly to the fabric. I might give it a go later in the year when its a bit warmer.

Experiments using a Tjanting

I still wanted to experiment and decided to use the Tjantings I had already to apply the wax. This works very well on a small scale and can easily be controlled, but I wanted to dye a large 3m piece of fabric. 

Dye bath and wax pot with Tjanting

I decided to use an old paintbrush to apply the wax in a random swirl pattern, drawn freehand.
I had experimented with the dye and used Dylon Bahama Blue. 

Design applied with paintbrush

On my samples it worked very well. I'm not sure it's working quite so well on my large piece. I did double up the amount of dye used, but I suspect that the fabric is not 100% cotton and has some polyester in it - despite checking at the shop when I bought it.

First sample - pre painted fabric, you can see the uneven stamping, then dyed blue

The fabric is currently steeping in the bath while I type, but will have to come out soon as the kids need their baths! I will be applying some more wax and over dyeing with purple dye. I'll see what that turns out like and may add a third layer of dye.

Fabric in dye bath

I need to invest in some Procion dyes. I used to use the a lot when I was a student, but haven't kept any for a few years. They are incredibly versatile and provide vibrant and strong colours.
Maybe a spot of tritik or shibori next.


  1. Lovely project!
    Have a fabulous week!
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

    1. Thanks Ana. Look out for more experiments in the coming weeks.


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